The BAFTA Award winner and Star Wars: The Rise Of Sky Walker actress will play Whitney Houston in the film directed by Stella Meghie.
The Sony/Tristar biopic is being written by Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten and will be produced by McCarten’s Muse of Fire Productions; Pat Houston (the 2018 Kevin Macdonald documentary Whitney) on behalf of the Houston estate; legendary music producer Clive Davis; Larry Mestel on behalf of Primary Wave Music; and Denis O’Sullivan (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Jeff Kalligheri (Submergence), who are also financing via Compelling Pictures. Primary Wave Music is a partner of the Whitney Houston estate.
Unlike Lifetime’s 2014 TV movie Whitney directed by Angela Bassett, which didn’t have the consent of the Houston estate this project’s screenplay was signed off and can therefore reproduce all of the multi-award-winning singers’ hit singles. The film will be directed by Canadian director and screenwriter Stella Meghie who also directed the Issa Rae movie The Photograph and Everything, Everything which starred Amandla Stenberg.
In a statement, Stella Meghie said: “We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston. Naomi Ackie impressed us at every stage of the process. I was moved by her ability to capture the stage presence of a global icon while bringing humanity to her interior life.”
Naomi Ackie won a British Independent Film Award as Most Promising Newcomer in 2017 for her performance as Anna in Lady Macbeth. She also won a BAFTA for her role as Bonnie in the second season of Netflix’s cult series The End Of The F***Ing World. Last year, she played Jannah in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment in the Skywalker saga, and she just recently was seen in Education, Part 4 of Steve McQueen’s acclaimed anthology series Small Axe.
Ackie next will take on a leading role in heist musical The Score with Will Poulter and Johnny Flynn.
Watch TBB’s interview with Naomi Ackie on her role in Star Wars